The national anthem and the pledge of allegiance are just a few ways Americans express their patriotism, but over time some people may take those words and their meaning for granted. Others have to overcome obstacles and work hard just to live in the United States. At today's naturalization ceremony in Yuba City 58 north state residents from 17 different countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens.
Vanubia Robinson was among the group of new citizens sworn in Friday. She moved to the U.S. from Brazil 13 years ago after meeting her husband. The couple and their two kids moved to Yuba City a year ago, after Robinson spent 12 years teaching english to other foreign residents in southern California.
“It is a privilege. I think everybody who's living in this country who's a foreigner should do it,” she says.
Like her peers, Robinson was required to read and speak english at a basic level and pass a test about the fundamentals of U.S. government mixed in with a little geography. They also had to live in the U.S. for at least 5 years before applying for citizenship. Ceremonies like this are usually held in Sacramento, but for the past 4 years one has been held in Yuba City to give residents a chance to celebrate in a more intimate setting with friends and family.
Michael Biggs, Field Office Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, says, "One of the most important things about citizenship is putting back into your community and becoming a part of it. So when you can have a small ceremony like this that is in the community where people are living it does the best job of bringing home the message that as a citizen your job is to participate in your community and society."
Today's ceremony wrapped up with a traditional mexican folk dance performed by local high school students, and a luncheon for the new citizens and their families.